The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Pedestal
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France
  • c. 1770
  • Oak, ebony and gilt bronze
  • Height: 137.8 cm
    Diameter: 42.5 cm
    Width: 65 cm, plinth
  • F423
  • Porphyry Court
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The pedestal takes the form of a fluted half-column, with gilt bronze mounts including laurel-leaf chandelles in the lower part of the flutes and swags of laurel running around the upper part. From these swags hang medallions of Henry IV (reigned 1589-1610) and the duc de Sully (1559-1641), his trusted first minister. Like two similar pedestals in the Wallace Collection (F421-2) this pedestal probably dates from c. 1770 but the mounts have been electro-gilded in the nineteenth century.

    Truncated columns such as this were perhaps first used on gilt bronze clocks and on the centrepiece of chimneypiece garnitures in France in the mid-1760s. The form proved popular, evoking as it does the ruins of Ancient Rome, and Sèvres porcelain column clocks of a similar model to this pedestal were made from 1771, remaining in fashion for at least 15 years. The heavy swags on this pedestal also resemble those on a truncated column design by the architect and designer Jean-Charles Delafosse (1734-89), from which a medallion also hangs.